Thinking: The New Muscle Workout

Thinking: The New Muscle Workout

by John Kennedy

For many of you who have known me over the years, my son Benjamin has been a constant guiding light of purpose and passion in my life since the day he was born.

The most important and impactful effort we make in our lives is the role we play in crafting the moral compass of values and behaviors that impact our children, our loved ones and our companies. I am no different and I am blessed to be part of the family of families in the Agritourism Life.

As of this writing, Ben has completed his basic training in San Antonio, Texas for the United States Air Force, and has now been assigned to his Tech School at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas as a fourth generation Kennedy to serve in the Armed Forces defending our freedom and our nation.

The eight weeks of “basic” were mostly focused on his body-- daily PT to build a stronger airman--push-ups, sit-ups, running, and other strength & endurance-building activities filled his days (up at 0420 and lights out at 2100). He gained twenty pounds of muscle and mass in that short amount of time and graduated in the top 5% of his class!

As you could well understand, we are most proud of our son, Airman Benjamin Daniel Kennedy.

Sad side note:  Covid-19 kept us from visiting Texas to watch him graduate; however, we were able to gather around a computer as a family and try to pick him out of the hundreds of khaki-uniformed and black-masked graduates…which we successfully did after much debate and descension (actually a comedy routine in and of itself!!)

Now comes the heavier lifting…working out the muscles of the brain to study weapons systems for an F-16 fighter jet. He will now move into “basic 2.0” where they challenge his atrophied cerebellum to remember how to study, memorize and memorialize his lessons to ensure system readiness and safety of the pilot, the squadron and the mission. He will be challenged to become a critical thinker, a problem-solver, a smarter and wiser version of himself. This investment will take place over a course of months, not weeks.

The Air Force understands that the mental part of the equation is far more valuable than the physical aspects of job…as should we in the green industry.  Ben recently shared with me that the studying part of his new job is more difficult than the strength training part, and it is with this premise I write to you today.

We as humans can endure most of the physical challenges of running a successful garden center—unloading, lifting, moving, pruning, unpacking, packing, producing, and planting all come naturally and easily to most (or at least it used to!).

As we continue to be challenged by the “changing landscape” of our businesses with the new now of post-pandemic life (whenever that will occur is uncertain), we are also being challenged to continue to think our way through this…to stretch our brain, to innovate and consider what’s possible farther than we have ever had to do in recent history… and that space is where the growth occurs.

On a recent call with a client in the association world, they were debating how to approach the meetings they have scheduled for the near future. The question was posed: “How do we adapt to this problem and deliver a program that is a short-term solution for what the members are used to?”

My response: “Why would you want to create a short-term solution to what will inevitably become a permanent challenge? If you are going to consider CHANGE, change everything!”

That strategic approach of not being weighed down by the problem to interfere with excitement of infinite possibilities that could catapult the conference industry to the next level is worth the maximum thought capital and investment!

God gave us two hands to make decisions in our lives easier…is it a challenge or an opportunity? (Lessons and Blessings from a previous writing)

Those businesses that are embracing the horsepower afforded us in our God-given brains, that are “thinking” and innovating their way through this challenge and creating new and different ways to address the convenience economy, the customer experience, technology, and the future will see dramatic ROI on their thought investment in the future.

Those that are “doing” or lifting their way through this challenge will find themselves adapting, getting stronger, and maybe even adding some “mass” to the bottom line.

One is a short-term reaction or solution…one is a long-term strategy and survival.

The perfect balance of course is both: Thoroughly thinking…and actively doing!

Brains and Brawn. Mind and Matter. Strategy and Tactics

Be safe and be well.


Want to discuss a radical opportunity with John Kennedy? Call or email him!

John Kennedy
[email protected]
Cell: ‭443-605-7095

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as John Kennedy, Robert Hendrickson, Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch and Jean Seawright, are included in your retainer!


Note: John Kennedy has developed an innovative platform that addresses the growing movement of agritourism in North America.

Farms, Garden Centers and Wineries are all seeing a measurable up-tick in engagement and interest in the post-pandemic world and John has embraced that trend head on. Each market segment shares the same customers and may want to consider joining forces to drive promotion & engagement. Many garden centers already have evolved with farmers markets.

Visit and see what John and his wife Souny have created in response to the wonderful opportunities within our industry moving forward.  More on this concept and joint effort with another industry association in the coming weeks ahead. Stay tuned….

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